GOP's Hegseth launches U.S. Senate bid

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  • March 1, 2012 - 2:48 PM

Pete Hegseth made it official Thursday, launching his campaign for the Republican nomination for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s seat.

“There’s a reason we got into this race late. I just got back from an overseas tour in Afghanistan, where I was serving with the Army National Guard,” said Hegseth, who returned in January from his third tour of duty. He was serving as an instructor in counter-insurgency techniques for U.S., NATO and Afghan troops.

“War has taught me, repeatedly, some very, very important lessons,” Hegseth added. “Among them that time is precious and what we have in this country is worth fighting for.”

Hegseth, who has never run for public office before, acknowledged that he’s aiming high in his first campaign. He’s only a year over the age limit to run for the U.S. Senate, but he said he has the ideas and the drive Minnesota needs.

“I know I’m 31 years of age and that’s a young age to run for the United States Senate, but I think 18-year-olds have some good ideas, I think 65-year-olds have some good ideas. And I think some 51-year-olds don’t have good ideas,” he said, in an indirect reference to the incumbent.

He added, “Nothing worth doing is easy. Nothing in life has perfect timing, so it’s one of those things where I look at what’s at stake in this election…(Klobuchar) has a reputation to defend, and I feel like I’m equipped and our campaign will be equipped to draw that clear contrast.”

Hegseth joins long-running GOP candidate Dan Severson in the bid for Klobuchar's seat. Hegseth said Thursday that he would seek the state GOP’s endorsement for the nomination, and abide by its decision.

Hegseth, a captain in the Army reserve, is the executive director of Vets for Freedom, a group that advocates on behalf of political candidates it views as supporting the war on terror. He was born in Forest Lake and graduated from Princeton University. He and his wife Samantha have a young son, Gunner.

The campaign's official website is

The Klobuchar campaign issued a statement later Thursday afternoon: "Senator Klobuchar has always put Minnesota first and will continue to fight for balanced, common-sense solutions that work for all Minnesotans, regardless of her opponent."

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